I followed a Facebook thread today begun by a former student who was reacting to the unfolding college admittance scandal. She was relating how hard she worked to get into college and to pay her own way without help from others, including her mother. There is nothing unique about this woman, she did it the way most of us did it, on our own merits and our own labors. She wasn’t whining or bitching but instead, just expressing the disappointment she felt that American higher education is so difficult for the most while others can evade the hurdles with little more than monetary bribes from their parents.
I was listening to a conversation about justice in America. It was mentioned that Roger Stone, given his wealth and connections, walked into his arraignment and walked out a free man awaiting trial. His bail of $250,000 was set, he reached in his pocket, paid it, and walked out the door.
Riker’s Island is a jail that sits on an island in NY’s East River. It is not a prison, it is a facility where those charged, like Stone, are sent if they are unable to meet their bail. It can hold 15,000 inmates and is the 2nd largest jail/prison in America. Most of those in Riker’s have not been tried but are awaiting trial. They could be locked up for months and in the meantime, unlike Stone, end up with their jobs gone, their cars repossessed, their family’s destitute, children put in foster care, etc. They will probably suffer complete financial collapse even before their guilt or innocence is determined.
Every day there accrues a list of things that piss me off. Unless I keep notes the list is too long at the end of a given day to remember. That is a good thing, however, because it makes starting a new day a little easier. While I didn’t write anything down today here’s what I do recall.
- Donald Trump made a simple slip of the tongue and called the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, Tim Apple. Instead of just thumping his forehead and saying duh he had to make it look like he intended to call him that. He claimed he called him Tim Apple to save time. Seriously, has this egotistical asshole ever admitted to making a simple human error?
- One of the worst SCOTUS decisions ever was Citizens United. Effectively it threw open the doors to campaign contributions. Mitt Romney just got hit with the biggest campaign violation fine since Citizens. His PAC, Right to Rise, illegally accepted $1.3 million from a Chinese owned corporation and was fined by the FEC $390,000. Don’t be surprised to learn that Trump gets found out for the same things.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? And, just as importantly, who’s making it? Six percent of Americans now say they get food delivered to them every day, and more than a third of people are ordering more delivery than they did a year ago. Venture capitalists are salivating at what this might mean for startups in the food-delivery business. (WSJ)
I recently received a news feed that I found interesting. Not important, just interesting. The Axios-Harris Poll did a study of what companies are preferred most by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.
For example, Democrats for whatever reasons prefer buying products made by Kraft-Heinz while the favorite GOP product is Chick-fil-A. I can only suppose that the John Kerry connection to Heinz explains the Democratic choice and the Chick’s opposition to all things same-sex draws the loyalty of the moral high ground crowd.
BILL MAHER: “I see some mean people are saying President Cuckoo’s Nest is losing it because he called Apple’s Tim Cook “Tim Apple” in a meeting. Ridiculous. He’s at the top of his game, and just signed a nuclear arms deal with Chick Corea.”
So, when the lives of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were damn near destroyed the Donald stopped by and decided that what these desperate people needed was an insensitive old white billionaire having fun tossing out free rolls of paper towels to people who were actually aid workers and not the victims of the hurricane.
So, when a series of 170 mph EF-4 tornadoes smashed through Lee County, Alabama killing 23 people Mr. Compassion ascends from above in full Christ-like operational mode, He decides that what’s needed is his signing copies of the Holy Bible for distribution. I’m surprised there isn’t video footage of his signing Bibles and then tossing them to the crowd with a Jerry West like fall back jump shot.
Many people on the street are, however, saying that Trump signed them using the moniker, J.C. Trump. Now, I don’t know anything about but lots of people are saying it. Yes, many people are talking about it and saying it. There could be something to it, they’re talking.
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Back in the 1960s, there was a local farmer that got caught up in a check-kiting scheme. Before it was all over he had been charged with multiple felonies, several bank officials had their careers ruined, several banks either failed or came close and the farmer that started it all, to my knowledge never spent a day in jail.
That the farmer had got off scot-free the same newspaper published a below the centerfold story about a poor white woman who had written an insufficient check for a few dollars and had been sentenced to a lengthy jail term.
I’ve been cleaning junk drawers and came across three envelopes, each containing a money folder and a crisp new “Christmas Dollar.” Apparently, they were a money making project of a newspaper related charity out of Columbus called, Charity Newsies. It seems that the Big Bear chain of groceries, which I think is now defunct, had something to do with sponsorship.
It appears the deal was to take a factory fresh dollar bill and paste the face of Santa over George’s. Wrap it all in a nice bundle and sell it for more than a dollar.
We have no recollection of when or where we acquired these but maybe some of you can shed light on it.
CHARITY NEWIES’ CHRISTMAS DOLLARS
Back in the 1950s president Eisenhower warned the nation about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex; the ever more powerful relationship between those who make the weapons of war and those who buy and use them. Unfortunately, little attention has been given to Ike’s warning and the MIC is more powerful than ever.
I recently heard an economist state that the cost of Medicare for All could be covered if we ever got serious about reigning in our military budget. America currently spends more on its military that of the world’s nations combined.
HORRIBLE JOB: “Facebook content moderators working for the company Cognizant in Phoenix aren’t allowed to talk about their work. Nor are they even allowed to talk about the fact that Facebook is Cognizant’s client. But day after day, for hours on end, with short and closely monitored breaks and for $28,800 a year, they watch terrible, terrible things. These things include videos of murders, which, they know, violate Section 13 of Facebook’s community standards.” (The Verge)
DOGS ON CHAINS: WTF is with having a dog and keeping it outside hooked to a chain? What sick psycho need does that satisfy? So much for it’s a dog’s life being a good thing!
When I was a very young child a railroad conductor gave my dad a copy of his QSL card to give to me. This is a special postcard that contains all the personal information about a licensed amateur radio operator, better known as a ham. It has his name, address, and most importantly, his call sign.
From the moment dad gave me this man’s QSL I became interested in international communications. The idea of listening to and maybe talking with people around the world fascinated me. The easiest and cheapest way to get started was by making your own crystal radio set out of some telephone wire and an oatmeal tube. The next step was saving your paper route money and buying a shortwave receiver kit from Allied Electronics in Chicago.
There are some great stories regarding African American History in and around Greenfield. When I first returned to teach in South Salem I began to learn about the area’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. I drove a school bus route and there were several homes along the route that were reported to have once been so-called stations on the road. Same thing in Greenfield. My cousin lived in a home on Jefferson St that had been a stopping point for slaves escaping the South. Books have been written and the Greenfield Historical Association has substantial files regarding the village’s role in the movement. The area had been, maybe because of a sizable Quaker population, a hotbed of abolitionist activity.